More than two dozen states have filed multiple legal challenges in federal court against the Biden administration’s vaccination or testing mandate for private companies, arguing that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not has no authority to issue the requirements.
All four lawsuits have been filed by groups from 26 states from the 8th, 11th, 6th and 5th circuits in the past few days. They are seeking to overturn an emergency rule released Thursday that requires companies with more than 100 employees to verify that their workers are vaccinated or that unvaccinated workers wear masks and undergo weekly Covid-19 tests.
The small business group Job Creators Network, as well as the Republican National Committee, have also said they plan to take legal action.
Generally speaking, the lawsuits argue that the Ministry of Labor does not have the power to issue a rule and that it did not follow the proper procedure to issue the temporary emergency standard.
The Florida, Georgia and Alabama 11th Circuit lawsuit also argues that the requirements conflict with the First Amendment and Restoration of Religious Freedom Act.
“This illegal tenure is yet another example of the Biden administration’s utter disregard for the constitutional rights accorded to our state and our citizens,” Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr said in a statement. “The federal government does not have the power to impose health care decisions on Georgian companies and its employees under the guise of occupational safety. We are fighting this unprecedented abuse of power to stop this mandate before it causes irreparable harm to our state and its economy. “
The court gave the government until 5 p.m. Monday to respond to the plaintiffs’ request for a permanent injunction. The Justice Department declined to comment. The White House returned the comment to the Labor Department.
Senator Ben Sasse called the vaccine warrants the “unconstitutional slop” of the Biden administration in a statement following the ruling, saying “Circuit Five got the better of this one.”
“The vaccines themselves are miracles of modern medicine and American ingenuity,” said the Nebraska Republican. “But we are not going to defeat this ugly virus with extreme partisanship or unconstitutional executive decrees. OSHA’s mandate is unconstitutional and, ultimately, will only increase reluctance to vaccinate. The President should carefully review this decision and reverse the course before the courts embarrass him again.